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Was Steelers Legend James Harrison’s 100-Yard Pick-Six The Best Play In Super Bowl History?

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Was Steelers Legend James Harrison’s 100-Yard Pick-Six The Best Play In Super Bowl History?

The NFL’s Twitter page recently began a discussion on just where former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, James Harrison‘s pick-six ranks in Super Bowl history. Harrison returned Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Kurt Warner‘s pass 100 yards as time expired in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

To begin, the play might not even be the best play in that game alone, let alone Super Bowl history. Harrison weighed in with his own thoughts:

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Before getting into the debate itself, Harrison has a solid argument for his legendary play. His pick-six was one-of-a-kind, the longest interception return in Super Bowl history in fact. As he mentioned, there are countless ‘acrobatic’ catches that many consider to be the best plays. There was plenty of acrobats in the pick-six though, as he evaded numerous tacklers including Warner and multiple offensive linemen. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald‘s last ditch attempt was juuuust late, as he tackled the Steelers linebacker into the endzone.

Now when examining something like this, it’s important to note the ‘clutch’ factor. Sure, there are great plays throughout the game in a Super Bowl, but the best play(s) almost certainly have to be at key moments of the game. This both helps and hurts the argument for Harrison’s return against the Cardinals. On one hand, the interception extended the Steelers’ lead to 17-7 heading into halftime. If he had not picked it off, the Cardinals likely would have either tied the game up with a field goal or taken the lead with a touchdown. If had not returned it all the way for a touchdown, it simply would’ve been 10-7, Steelers.

Steelers James Harrison Santonio Holmes Super Bowl

Feb 1, 2009; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (right) smiles after being interviewed by NBC broadcaster Dan Patrick (left) after the game of Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals 27-23. Credit: Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

It was a huge shift in momentum for both sides heading into the locker room and without the play, the Steelers likely don’t win their sixth Super Bowl. With that being said, there were still another 30 minutes in the game. Fast-forward to the last minute, and the Steelers had another play that’s in the conversation for best play in SB history as well. That is, Santonio Holmes‘ incredible catch in the corner of the endzone to give Pittsburgh the lead in the final minute.

Re-Live the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII Victory

Without that catch, who knows if the black and gold would have still scored a touchdown. The clutch play happened on 2nd-and-goal from the six-yard line. This particular moment also included two spectacular individual plays within itself, as Ben Roethlisberger‘s throw was flawless. It was a throw that only certain guys in NFL history would be able to make, especially in that situation. Regardless, both were incredible plays, and the Steelers would not have won without one of them.


What do you guys think? Was Harrison’s pick-six or Holmes’ catch the best play in SB history? Or is there another play that tops those two? I would have to lean toward Holmes’ catch as the best play in the game and ever in SB games. Both plays will be etched in Steelers history forever.

Let us know your thoughts on the best plays in SB history below!




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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!


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